Skip to content

National Global Imaginaries recent articles


Poetry, Power, Protest: Reimagining Muslim Nationhood in Northern Pakistan

civil society,poetics

“This article examines the role of poetry in illuminating and challenging the meaning of citizenship in the border region of Gilgit-Baltistan, which is located in the north of Pakistan and is internationally considered as forming part of Pakistani Kashmir. Ali discusses how poetic performances constitute a critical public arena for protesting political dispossession and for nurturing a postsectarian, religious harmony in the region. The article also complicates our understanding of the state, as several of the poets in Gilgit work for the local government. From this overlapping position as local inhabitants and state officials, they seek to create spaces of poetic reflection that can help reshape the state as well as society in Gilgit-Baltistan.”

Migration and ethnic nationalism: Anglophone exit and the ‘decolonisation’ of…


“This article explains the effects of ethnic nationalism on Anglophone and Francophone migration. The rise of Québec ethnic nationalism in the 1960s dismantled the cultural division of labour, which created new opportunities for Francophones but threatened Anglophones’ traditional dominance over the Québec economy. This had negative consequences for Anglophones but positive outcomes for Francophones, which in turn accounts for differences in migration patterns. Drawing from the internal colony model as well as migration and exit-voice theories, and using ecological census data, micro-census data and election panel data, I find that the key variables that increase the likelihood of Anglophone out-migration either do not explain Francophone out-migration or have opposite effects. This is because ethnonationalist policies decreased the economic return particularly for well-educated, higher-earning, professional Anglophones in Québec, while increasing the economic position of Francophones and in particular well-educated professionals.”

Globalisation and the decline of national identity? An exploration across sixty-three c…


The relationship between globalisation and national identity is puzzling. While some observers have found that globalisation reduces people’s identification with their nation, others have reached the opposite conclusion. This article explores this conundrum by examining the relationship between globalisation and people’s feelings towards national identity. Using data from the International Social Survey Program National Identity II () and the World Values Survey (), it analyses these relations across sixty-three countries. Employing a multilevel approach, it investigates how a country’s level of globalisation is related to its public perceptions towards different dimensions of national identity. The results suggest that a country’s level of globalisation is not related to national identification or nationalism but it is related negatively to patriotism, the willingness to fight for the country and ethnic conceptions of membership in the nation. An examination of alternative explanations indicates that globalisation has a distinct impact on national identity

Janet Frame in east–west encounters: A Buddhist exploration – Journal of Post…


“Through a close scrutiny of Janet Frame’s life and work, it is my intention in this essay to suggest that Buddhism proved an irresistible magnet for the author’s inquisitive spirit and that it played an important part in the shaping of her poetics. In effect, we shall see under what circumstances Frame’s encounter with the east took place and the extent to which notions such as the empirical mind or knowledge, the Great Death of the ego and the non-duality of the world permeate her oeuvre. The underlying concern in the second part of the essay will be to buttress the claim that Frame constantly seeks ways through which the infinite and the Other can be approached, but not corrupted, by the perceiving self, and that she found in the Buddhist epistemology a pathway towards such alterity. Thus, against the grain of mainstream criticism which maintains that one cannot explore “beyond”, a Buddhist navigation of Frame’s texts leads one to the surprising notion that the unharnessed world (or the infinite) which human beings are unable to embrace is, so to speak, right under their nose, so that, between “this” world of limited perceptions and “that” world of the beyond, the boundary is as thick or as thin as the walls of a self-made conceptual prison.”

Reconceptualizing human rights – Journal of Global Ethics –


“This paper defends several highly revisionary theses about human rights. Section 1 shows that the phrase ‘human rights’ refers to two distinct types of moral claims. Sections 2 and 3 argue that several longstanding problems in human rights theory and practice can be solved if, and only if, the concept of a ‘human right’ is replaced by two more exact concepts: International human rights: moral claims sufficient to warrant coercive domestic and international social protection. Domestic human rights: moral claims sufficient to warrant coercive domestic social protection but only non-coercive international action. Section 3 then argues that because coercion is central to both types of human rights, and coercion is a matter of justice, the traditional view of human rights – that they are normative entitlements prior to and independent of substantive theories of justice – is incorrect. Human rights must instead be seen as emerging from substantive theories of domestic and international justice. Finally, Section 4 uses this reconceptualization to show that only a few very minimal claims about international human rights are presently warranted. Because international human rights are rights of international justice, but theorists of international justice disagree widely about the demands of international justice, much more research on international justice is needed – and much greater agreement about international justice should be reached – before anything more than a very minimal list of international human rights can be justified.”

When the State Says “Sorry”: State Apologies as Exemplary Political Judgments…


“Earlier versions of this article were presented in 2010 at the annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association; the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association; the joint meeting of the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto and the Centre for Research in Ethics, the University of Montreal; and the international conference “Democracy Today,” organized at the University of Minho. I would like to thank John Francis Burke, Daniel Weinstock, Melissa Williams, and Joe Heath for their insightful suggestions. Serdar Tekin, Leah Soroko, Alex Livingston, Amit Ron, Michael Cunningham, and Inder Marwah charitably commented on the article at various points in time. Alessandro Ferrara led me to some crucial insights for which I am particularly grateful. I would also like to warmly thank Mathias Thaler, who read several versions of the article and who provided constructive criticism and encouragement. Last but not least, the recommendations by Robert Goodin and the three anonymous reviewers of the Journal of Political Philosophy helped improve the manuscript, and for this I thank them. Research for this article benefitted from the financial support of the Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal; and the European Social Fund. The usual disclaimers apply.”

The Power of Imagination in Transnational Mobilities – Identities – Volume 18, Issue 6


“At the roots of many travels to distant destinations, whether in the context of tourism or migration, are historically laden and socioculturally constructed imaginaries. People worldwide rely on such imaginaries, from the most spectacular fantasies to the most mundane reveries, to shape identities of themselves and others. These unspoken representational assemblages are powerful because they enact and construct peoples and places, implying multiple, often conflicting, representations of Otherness, and questioning several core values multicultural societies hold, by blurring as well as enforcing traditional territorial, social, and cultural boundaries. What are the contours of power, agency, and subjectivity in imaginaries of transnational mobility and the intersecting social categories those visions both reify and dissolve? Ethnographic studies of human (im)mobility provide an innovative means to grasp the complexity of the global circulation of people and the world-making images and ideas surrounding these movements. As a polymorphic concept, mobility invites us to renew our theorizing, especially regarding conventional themes such as culture, identity, and transnational relationships. This article critically analyzes some preliminary findings of an ongoing multisited research project that traces how prevalent imaginaries of transnational tourism to and migration from the “global South” are (dis)connected. I suggest anthropology has unique contributions to make to the current debate in the social sciences by ethnographically detailing how mobility is a contested ideological construct involving so much more than mere movement.”

“Now let me share this with you”: Exploring Poetry as a Method for Postcoloni…


“In this article we attempt to “seize back the creative initiative” to uncover whether poetry might be a useful postcolonial research method. In exploring the possibilities and limitations of poetry as a means of re-representing and interpreting data collected through in-depth qualitative interviews, our conclusions are ambivalent: we are attracted to poetry but troubled by it too. For instance, poetry does hold promise through its ability to imaginatively project thoughts and ideas, opening up space so new perspectives can emerge. However, as academics we are always complicit in the knowledge creation process (albeit to varying degrees), and so the representative qualities of poetry are never unproblematic or straightforward. Thus although poetry does have potential as a method for postcolonial geography research, we are making a cautious and careful appeal for its use. We use the case of ecotourism research conducted in Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in Ghana to explore these ideas.”

The crisis of ‘multiculturalism’ in Europe: Mediated minarets, intolerable su…


“During the last decade, European countries have declared a ‘crisis’ of multiculturalism. This crisis has gained significant political traction, despite the empirical absence of a failed experiment with multiculturalism. This introduction focuses on the narrative of multicultural backlash, which purports that ‘parallel societies’ and ‘intolerable subjects’ and practices have been allowed to flourish within European societies. Beyond particular contexts, the problem of intolerable subjects is seen as a shared European challenge, requiring disintegrated migrants and Muslim populations to display loyalty, adopt ‘our’ values, and prove the legitimacy of their belonging. This introduction critiques multicultural backlash, less as a rejection of piecemeal multicultural policies than as a denial of lived multiculture. This is developed through an examination of racism in a post-racial era, and by analysing the ways in which integrationist projects further embed culturalist ontology.”

The Canadian Tamil Diaspora and the Politics of Multiculturalism – Identities – Volume …


“This article explores Tamil diasporic engagement in Toronto, at the turn of the Sri Lankan struggle in 2009, to foreground the contested and transnational character of Canadian multiculturalism. It asks whether Canadian multicultural discourse provides a space for social and political identity-making within the Tamil-Canadian Diaspora. The article then sketches the way multiculturalism informed Tamil-Canadian identity-making amongst young and older Tamil-Canadians prior to these events. It explores how diasporic identity was then crystallized in 2009 through media and political responses within the mainstream and the Diaspora itself. The article argues that security discourses dramatically prefigured the terms of engagement for Tamil-Canadians during the final months of the civil war in Sri Lanka. It concludes by drawing attention to the transformative possibilities of multiculturalism and the way the diasporic lens that this case study uses may contribute to this discussion.”

Globing the Earth: The New Eco-logics of Nature – SubStance


Concerted clamors ring in the corridors of our planet: “Nature is dying, and with it, life on earth. Humans! Your end is approaching.” Are we then battling the postendist phase of nature? Is living with/in nature all about encountering the spectre of the “unborn”—those who will come after us and who in some sense now must command the unfolding of present politics and society? How are we, in the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “responsible for our rose”? (Anderson 1987: vii) Are we entering a new eco-logics of nature? And how is a Green politics formed that may, in the process, globe the earth? Loren Eiseley observes: It is with the coming of man that a vast hole seems to open in nature, a vast black whirlpool spinning faster and faster, consuming flesh, stones, soils, minerals, sucking down the lightning, wrenching power from the atom, until the ancient sounds of nature are drowned in the cacophony of something which is no longer nature, something instead which is loose and knocking at the world’s heart, something demonic and no longer planned—escaped, it may be—spewed out of nature, contending in a final giant’s game against its master. (Eiseley 1960: 123-24) What happens to nature now? Is nature now…

The Political Art of Patience: Adivasi Resistance in India – Johnston – 2012 – Antipode


“This article documents the emergence of the Denotified Rights Action Group (DNG-RAG), a national social movement orchestrated to assert the citizenship rights of adivasi (indigenous) populations in India. It assesses the movement’s efforts to engage the central Indian government in meaningful dialogue to accommodate the inclusion of marginalized adivasis in the democratic politics of the nation. In doing so, the DNT-RAG reasserts the primacy of the Indian state as the principal engine driving the project of nation building, and as such, the site that activists target to further an agenda of equitable development and democratic rights for those known as India’s Denotified Tribes.”

Bloodlust: a postcolonial sociology of childbirth – Social Identities –


“This paper examines intersections between ethnocentric and androcentric desire. To that end it employs a broadly postcolonial analysis of the medicalisation of birth and of women. The paper explores an ambivalence characterised by a simultaneous lust for and loathing of the other through engaging with postcolonial discourse analysis, and it ties those impulses to an imperative of control and to an administration of the other’s affairs. That imperative and those impulses represent a point at which the logic of patriarchy and the logic of colonialism converge, and that point is one around which the social production of material disadvantage and negative outcomes can be explored. In the service of modern paradigms of progress and development, both colonial discourses and medical discourses underpin material relationships with the other. Whether that other is racialised or gendered, the manifest result of those relationships is the production of outcomes which are sub-optimal and pernicious in effect, and which result in a material insufficiency in the discursively produced other. The process of colonising childbirth reproduces the material effects of colonial subjectivity within a highly ambivalent and deeply imperialistic encounter. An exploration of that process demonstrates a link between power, paternalism and poor outcomes which highlights a space for self-determination in the optimisation of health and wellbeing amongst members of population groups which are vulnerable to the representations and interests of administrative power.”

From Auschwitz to mandatory detention: biopolitics, race, and human rights in the Austr…


“This article draws on Agamben’s concept of homo sacer (bare-life) and his examination of the Muselmänner – the most de-humanised inhabitants of the Nazi concentration camp – to illuminate the ways that the policy and system of immigration detention in Australia signifies a continuation of the biopolitical paradigm that both created and supported the atrocity of Auschwitz. The article argues that the notion of race occupies a paradoxical position in the concept and body of the refugee in Australia today because while racism brings about and justifies the refugee’s incarceration in the camp, the biopolitical processes of the camp create a subject within whom race becomes inevitably subsumed within and transcended by the ontology of bare-life. In this scheme, the question of human rights becomes ever more relevant but even less applicable. The article concludes with a critique of Agamben’s key ideas as well as my application of them in light of Foucauldian and other interpretations of his work.”

In defence of global egalitarianism – Journal of Global Ethics –


“This essay argues that David Miller’s criticisms of global egalitarianism do not undermine the view where it is stated in one of its stronger, luck egalitarian forms. The claim that global egalitarianism cannot specify a metric of justice which is broad enough to exclude spurious claims for redistribution, but precise enough to appropriately value different kinds of advantage, implicitly assumes that cultural understandings are the only legitimate way of identifying what counts as advantage. But that is an assumption always or almost always rejected by global egalitarianism. The claim that global egalitarianism demands either too little redistribution, leaving the unborn and dissenters burdened with their societies’ imprudent choices, or too much redistribution, creating perverse incentives by punishing prudent decisions, only presents a problem for global luck egalitarianism on the assumption that nations can legitimately inherit assets from earlier generations – again, an assumption very much at odds with global egalitarian assumptions.”

Israel: promised land for Jews … as long as they’re not black?


“While the subjugation and abuse of Palestinians living within Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are well documented, what is less well known is how ingrained racism is in Israel, in that it not only extends to Palestinian Christians and Muslims, but also to Jews who come from ethnic minority backgrounds. This article documents how the Falasha, Ethiopian Jews who have been brought into Israel in several mass transfer operations, have found themselves relegated to an underclass. They are not only racially discriminated against in housing, employment, education, the army and even in the practice of their religion, but have also been unwittingly used to bolster illegal settlements.”

Malcolm X at the Oxford Union


“This article examines Malcolm X’s affirmation at the Oxford Union of the proposition put forward by US Senator Barry Goldwater at the Republican National Convention in 1964: ‘Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.’ At Oxford, black nationalism, American conservatism and liberal conceptualisations of rights were all on display, as Malcolm X explored new potentialities in American and black political thought. The paper seeks to uncover some of the less explored dimensions of this moment of transition in US and UK racial politics, even as Malcolm extended his arguments into the broader context of decolonisation in Africa and the extension of rights to Africans and other marginalised groups throughout the world. With the 1964 elections in the US and UK serving as background, the author seeks to illuminate the ways in which the rhetoric and theories implicit in the debate represented both atavistic and new arguments for reconciling the impulse for both racial and civic recognition in modern society.”

Decolonising the museum: Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration


“The collections, exhibiting techniques and events offered at France’s national museum of immigration history are explored through this critical review of Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration (CNHI) at the Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris. The case study considers the extent to which one of the capital’s newest museums has successfully and sensitively aligned the colonialist architecture of its building – originally constructed for the 1931 World’s Fair – with twenty-first century, postcolonial perspectives on the decolonisation of cultural spaces, and pluralisation of curatorial narratives, to better reflect the histories and lived experiences of diverse audiences.”

Re-framing the colonial Caribbean: Joscelyn Gardner’s White Skin, Black Kin: A Creole C…


“The article discusses the role that the visual arts and museums—through the way their framing and selection choices shape viewers’ perception—play in the construction and deconstruction of post/colonial Caribbean identities. The locus of the analysis is a multimedia installation titled White Skin, Black Kin: A Creole Conversation Piece, which was mounted at the Barbados Museum by Barbadian Canadian visual artist Joscelyn Gardner in 2004. The artist’s aim in the installation was to expose the telling gaps, silences, and omissions in regard to black and white kinship and inter-racial relations in artistic productions of the colonial period. One such production was the sub-genre of portraiture known as the conversation piece, which was fashionable among an emerging middle class that included colonial landowners and merchants eager to use that visual medium to simultaneously document the wealth their colonial connections brought them and disavow their use and abuse of black bodies to create that wealth. In challenging the conventions of the conversation piece, Gardner recovers unspoken and suppressed stories from the colonial Caribbean past in order to re-present black and white Creole females identities; and in her use of the installation to ‘intervene’ into items displayed in permanent exhibits, she demonstrates how the Museum can become a site of active contestation of received knowledge.”

Stigma and suffering: white anti-racist identities in northern Australia – Postcolonial…


“White anti-racists are an influential social group within settler-colonial societies that often escape critical attention. This article explores one aspect of white anti-racist subjectivities as experienced by those who work in Indigenous health in northern Australia. Although not usually discussed openly between colleagues, frustration, betrayal, and suffering physical discomfort without complaint are common experiences for whites working in remote Indigenous communities. To explain this suffering, I first develop the novel concept of white stigma. I argue that in progressive spaces where there is a concerted attempt to invert colonial power relations—what I call ‘progressive spaces’—whiteness and the privilege it represents is something to be avoided, diminished, and counteracted. When white anti-racists are interpellated as white, this is generally experienced as a stigma. Recognizing whiteness as a stigmatized identity that white anti-racists continuously attempt to rehabilitate and make liveable makes the suffering of white anti-racists intelligible. Drawing on ethnographic research with white anti-racists, I show how suffering works to manage white stigma. This exploration of stigma, suffering and love furthers our understanding of white anti-racists’ identities, and through this, liberal governance in settler societies.”

The Nation and Its Fictions: History and Allegory in Tagore’s Gora – South Asia: Journa…


“In Rabindranath Tagore’s novel Gora (1910) and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981), literary works which employ the fiction of nativity to examine a paradoxical moment of historical origin, the idea of the nation is subjected to intolerable strain. Fables of identity are constructed in both novels, yet instead of a ‘hardening’ of the metaphysical idea that sustains the allegorical parallel, what we witness is a radical dissolution or disintegration of the categories of nation and narrative at the very site of their inscription. I will argue that in both works, the symbolic equation of novel and nation opens up fissures in historical experience.”

The dog that did not bark: Anti-Americanism and the 2008 financial crisis in Europe – R…


“The financial crisis that erupted in September 2008 seemed to confirm all the worst stereotypes about the United States held abroad: that Americans are bold, greedy, and selfish to excess; that they are hypocrites, staunch defenders of the free market ready to bail out their own companies; and that the US has long been the architect and primary beneficiary of the global economic system. So the crisis had an enormous potential for deteriorating further the global image of the United States, already at an all-time high during the George W. Bush era. Yet anti-American sentiments did not surge worldwide as a result of the crisis, neither at the level of public opinion, nor at the level of actions and policy responses by foreign policy-makers. This article explains why the dog did not bark and reawaken anti-Americanism in the process. The central argument is that this potential anti-Americanism has been mitigated by several factors, including the election of Obama, the new face of globalization, and the perception of the relative decline of US power coupled with the rise of China, which suggests that the ‘post-American’ world may be accompanied by a ‘post anti-American’ world, at least in Europe.”

Re-imagining the theory of human rights – The International Journal of Human Rights –


“This article seeks to address the concern that the language of human rights has become increasingly problematic and susceptible to distortion from its intended meaning. This is in part due to three problems which are identified and interrogated, these being the implicit reduction of human rights discourse to Western individualism, universalism, and legalism. It proceeds to present a sociological defence of human rights discourse as the articulation of general desires in the building of a ‘good society’, and specifies eight such general desires which form the basis of this discourse.”

Three arguments against ‘soft innovation’: towards a richer understanding of …


“This paper critiques recent research on innovation in the cultural and creative industries. In particular, this paper examines Paul Stoneman’s idea of ‘soft innovation’ as a jumping off point for discussing theories of cultural innovation more broadly. Three critiques are advanced. Firstly, soft innovation is a theoretical perspective that has developed from neoclassical economics, and is therefore vulnerable to criticisms levelled at neoclassical explanations of economic behaviour. Secondly, the theory of soft innovation can be criticised for being contingently inaccurate: the observed reality of cultural industries and marketplaces may not reflect the theory’s premises. Thirdly, because soft innovation defines the significance of an innovation in terms of marketplace success, it implies that only high-selling cultural products are significant, a difficult claim to substantiate. This paper concludes by arguing that our understanding of innovation in the cultural sphere can benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach grounded in the full gamut of human creativity.”

The everywhere war – GREGORY – 2011 – The Geographical Journal


“Much of the discussion of 9/11 has debated its historical significance, but it is equally important to explore the geographical dimensions of the wars that have been conducted in its shadows. Subsequent transformations in the American way of war have played a major role in the increased militarisation of the planet. Most attention has been focused on Afghanistan and Iraq as the principal theatres of the ‘war on terror’, but one of the characteristics of late modern war is the emergent, ‘event-ful’ quality of military, paramilitary and terrorist violence that can, in principle, occur anywhere. Vulnerabilities are differentially distributed but widely dispersed, and in consequence late modern war is being changed by the slippery spaces through which it is conducted. This paper explores three global borderlands to bring those changes into focus: Afghanistan–Pakistan (particularly the deployment of CIA-controlled drones in Pakistan), US–Mexico (particularly the expansion of Mexico’s ‘drug war’ and the US militarisation of the border), and cyberspace (particularly the role of stealth attacks on critical infrastructure and the formation of US Cyber Command).”

Subjects in Difference: Walter Benjamin, Frantz Fanon, and Postcolonial Theory


“This essay aims to rethink historical difference in light of Walter Benjamin’s formulation of mimesis and Frantz Fanon’s phenomenology of difference. Divided into three parts, the essay engages Dipesh Chakrabarty’s account of historical difference, considers how an understanding of mimesis might safeguard against some of the philosophical pitfalls within Chakrabarty’s formulation, and revisits Fanon for an explication of a theory of mimesis and difference that may be the grounds for a renewed understanding of historical difference. The essay makes a case for the relevance of Frankfurt School dialectics for postcolonial problematics.”

Headless Capitalism: Affect as Free-Market Episteme


“This essay seeks to explain the persistent representation of affect and the senses in the cultural narrative of globalization. The author proposes that we are currently witnessing an epistemic shift from reason to affect, a shift that may be traced to the birth of free-market capitalism in the age of revolution (though it has only become fully hegemonic in the post-Soviet period of neoliberal globalization). This gave rise, she argues, to a new cultural discourse in which horizontal capital flow replaced vertical monarchical fiat as the principal vehicle for the definition of social order and the limits of knowledge. Through analyses of eighteenth- and twenty-first-century cultural texts, she posits that this new cultural discourse, germane to free-market capitalism, is best understood as epistemically governed by the affective concept of a “headless” feeling soma self-regulated by homeostatic principle—that is, a harmonious and nonrational self-governance—and no longer by a thinking mind governed by reason in a vertical relationship with a subject-body. If the current cultural moment of global capital and media has been repeatedly characterized as “posttheory,” then this essay identifies a new social logic that has become visible but not yet critically apprehended in the era of unchallenged globalization. The author proposes a way to read that logic as ciphered in contemporary cultural media as an emotional aesthetics of social protagonism and politics.”

Towards a Critical Global Race Theory – Weiner – 2012 – Sociology Compass – Wiley Onlin…


“The meanings attached to “race” across the globe are myriad, particularly as anti-Islamic discourse once again links race and religion. Yet scholars lack a common terminology to discuss this phenomenon. This article hopes to expand critical race theory and scholarship across national lines. This critical examination of recent race-related scholarship provides scholars with empirical suggestions to uncover and document the different processes, mechanisms, trajectories and outcomes of potentially racialized practices that essentialize, dehumanize, “other,” and oppress minority groups while imbuing privileged groups with power and resources in nations across the globe. Ten empirical indicators will allow international researchers to assess the particular situation of different groups in different nations to determine whether, and the extent to which, they are subject to racialization. Specifically, this paper calls for a unified terminology that can accurately account for and address race when and where it occurs and a global broadening of a critical comparative dialogue of racial practices.”

HACKING THE GLOBAL Constructing markets and commons through free software- Information,…


“This paper explores software’s pivotal role in the power dynamics of contemporary capitalism. The author theorizes Free Software as a new form of property that is infecting capitalism like a virus, challenging the system of private property central to its dominant logic. Free Software can be produced by developers working for free in peer communities or in profit-oriented firms. The author explores the conditions under which Free Software is produced through peer versus market-based production, emphasizing the implications for constructing the Free Software market and the digital commons. The author identifies actors’ motivations, the organizational structure of production, and financial resources as three factors shaping these conditions. The author focuses on the case of Ubuntu, a Free Software operating system that is available free of charge on the Internet. Ubuntu is produced by Canonical, a Free Software, market-based firm, through an intriguing combination of market-based and peer production that both embodies and transforms capitalist practices.”



“This article discusses three interrelated challenges related to conducting social science research in ‘Internet Time’. (1) The rate at which the Internet is both diffusing through society and developing new capacities is unprecedented. It creates some novel challenges for scholarly research. (2) Many of our most robust research methods are based upon ceteris paribus assumptions that do not hold in the online environment. The rate of change online narrows the range of questions that can be answered using traditional tools. Meanwhile, (3) new research methods are untested and often rely upon data sources that are incomplete and systematically flawed. The paper details these challenges, then proposes that scholars embrace the values of transparency and kludginess in order to answer important research questions in a rapidly-changing communications environment.”

Nature and Eros: an Educational Process for Engaging With a Living Universe – World Fut…


“Nature and Eros is an integral educational process offered to graduate students at the California Institute of Integral Studies. This course was developed in response to the illusion, operative throughout Western industrialized culture, that we are separate selves living upon the earth. Across many disciplines we are awakening to the knowledge that we are living organisms intricately woven into the ever-evolving vibrant web of life. The central aim of Nature and Eros is to support a shift in our perception of this larger web and activate the lived recognition of our deepest identity as an inextricable part of cosmic evolution.”

Planetary Love: Ecofeminist Perspectives on Globalization – World Futures – Volume 68, …


“This article draws on three ecofeminist theorists (Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Val Plumwood, and Donna Haraway) in order to criticize the dominant model of globalization, which oppresses humans and the natural environment, and propose an alternative globalization grounded in planetary love. Rather than affirming or opposing the globalization, planetary love acknowledges its complicity with the neocolonial tendencies of globalization while aiming toward another globalization, a more just, peaceful, and sustainable globalization. In this context, love is characterized by non-coercive, mutually transformative contact, which opens spaces of respect and responsibility for the unique differences and otherness of planetary subjects (humans and nonhumans).”

Creating the cultures of the future: cultural strategy, policy and institutions in Gram…


“Gramsci’s writings have rarely been discussed and used systematically by scholars in cultural policy studies, despite the fact that in cultural studies, from which the field emerged, Gramsci had been a major source of theoretical concepts. Cultural policy studies were, in fact, theorised as an anti-Gramscian project between the late 1980s and the early 1990s, when a group of scholars based in Australia advocated a major political and theoretical reorientation of cultural studies away from hegemony theory and radical politicisation, and towards reformist–technocratic engagement with the policy concerns of contemporary government and business. Their criticism of the ‘Gramscian tradition’ as inadequate for the study of cultural policy and institutions has remained largely unexamined in any detail for almost 20 years and seems to have had a significant role in the subsequent neglect of Gramsci’s contribution in this area of study. This essay, consisting of three parts, is an attempt to challenge such criticism and provide an analysis of Gramsci’s writings, with the aim of proposing a more systematic contribution of Gramsci’s work to the theoretical development of cultural policy studies. In Part I, I question the use of the notion of ‘Gramscian tradition’ made by its critics, and challenge the claim that it was inadequate for the study of cultural policy and institutions. In Parts II and III, I consider Gramsci’s specific writings on questions of cultural strategy, policy and institutions, which have so far been overlooked by scholars, arguing that they provide further analytical insights to those offered by his more general concepts. More specifically, in Part II, I consider Gramsci’s pre-prison writings and political practice in relation to questions of cultural strategy and institutions. I argue that the analysis of these early texts, which were written in the years in which Gramsci was active i

The multiple dimensions of racial mixture in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: from whitening to …


“The notion that racial mixture is a central feature of Latin American societies has been interpreted in different, if not strictly opposite, ways. On the one hand, scholars have presented it as evidence of weaker racial boundaries. On the other, it has been denounced as an expression of the illusion of harmonic racial relations. Relying on 160 interviews with black Brazilians, we argue that the valorization of racial mixture is an important response to stigmatization, but one that has multiple dimensions and different consequences for the maintenance of racial boundaries. We map out these different dimensions – namely, ‘whitening’, ‘Brazilian negritude’, ‘national identification’ and ‘non-essentialist racialism’ – and discuss how these dimensions are combined in different ways by our interviewees according to various circumstances. Exploring these multiple dimensions, we question any simplistic understanding of racial mixture as the blessing or the curse of Latin American racial dynamics.”

Transforming meanings and group positions: tactics and framing in Anishinaabe…


“Antiracism research often examines how stigmatized groups transform the meanings associated with their group. A complementary approach analyses the tactics that dominant and subordinate groups use to defend or advance their ‘group positions’ in situations that threaten the status quo. A case study of the proposed relocation of an Aboriginal child welfare facility to a rural Ontario township sheds light on both processes. Before rejecting the proposal, white residents and municipal councillors used delaying tactics, searched for race-neutral justifications, offered unsolicited advice, created new rules, and censured ‘traitors’. The Native agency (and its few white ‘allies’), guided by traditional decision-making practices, initially tried to provide ‘neutral’ information, stay positive, and emphasize common interests. When these tactics failed, they considered others before foregoing the opportunity to appeal to an independent tribunal. Ultimately, this case shows how laissez-faire frames and small-town dynamics can limit the choice and effectiveness of antiracist tactics.”

Folk conceptualizations of racism and antiracism in Brazil and South Africa – Ethnic an…


“Folk conceptualizations of racism can be defined as ordinary people’s understandings of the sources and persistence of racism. They function as equalization strategies – by denying the legitimacy of racism – and guide beliefs regarding antiracism strategies. I explore folk explanations of racism among black professionals in Brazil and South Africa by drawing on sixty interviews with members of these groups. In Brazil, racism is understood as an historical lingering, a product of ignorance, which will disappear with time and education. In South Africa, racism is viewed as more resilient, as a part of human nature and as a consequence of the competition for resources. These explanations of racism are closely related to the antiracism narratives that are salient in these two contexts: while Brazilian respondents affirm their belief in racial mixture and moral education, South African respondents are more uncertain about the possibilities of weaker racial boundaries in their country, relying on institutional constraints as their main antiracism strategy.”

How Information Scarcity Influences the Policy Agenda: Evidence from U.K. Immigration P…


“This article explores how patterns of information supply on policy problems influence political attention. It advances two central claims. First, different policy areas are associated with distinct practices in monitoring policy problems: Some produce abundant, ongoing, and reliable information, while others yield scarce, sporadic, and/or unreliable data. Second, these variations in information supply are likely to influence political attention, with information-rich areas associated with a more proportionate distribution of attention, and information-poor areas yielding punctuated attention. The article tests these claims through comparing U.K. political attention to asylum and illegal immigration. Asylum is observed on an ongoing basis through bureaucratic data, court hearings, and lay observations, producing more constant and proportiate political attention. Illegal immigration is observed sporadically through focusing events, usually police operations, eliciting more punctuated attention. These insights about political attention may also help explain why policy responses may be punctuated or incremental.”

You may receive regular messages if you are a member of the group National Global Imaginaries at

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: